Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our First Crash

Remember the scene from the movie Steel Magnolias in which Julia Robert’s character has a freak-out in Trudy’s Salon, while Sally Fields’ mom-character tries to force orange juice down her throat? Well, that, apparently, is a fairly accurate depiction of what a “moderate low” for a diabetic can be like. Ours was a little less dramatic, being a “mild low”. But, not much.

What Happened:
T-Bear’s glucose dropped to 55 before lunch, less than two hours after breakfast. Our current target range is 80-150 at least 2 hours after a meal; “normal” for kids ages 6-12 is 70-180; a “low” is anything under 60. I’m not sure exactly what point the “diabetic coma” stage sets in, and I pray I’ll never find out first-hand. The sitting on the kitchen floor in hysterics, whining “I don’t want to go to the hospital” and “I don’t want to die”, while frantically cramming goldfish crackers into his mouth…well, that’s enough “first hand” experience for me, thank you very much. Let’s not have another 55 anytime soon, shall we?

What I Learned (‘cause I’m a “growth mindset” person…thanks, S!):
* T-Bear’s signs of a drop include dark circles under his eyes, and droopy, whiney, sluggish behavior.
* Sleep is incredibly important. He needs at least 12 hours of sleep to function normally, and that includes being able to eat a decent breakfast.
* Protein at breakfast. Trying to get away from the scrambled-eggs-every-morning-at-breakfast thing, I tried T-Bear on cereal and milk. Nope. Bad idea, particularly on top of a late night.
* Rufus is De Man! Never underestimate the power of a stuffed sack of fuzzy cloth to comfort a child in crisis. T-Bear insisted that Rufus have his insulin shot, too, before they sat down to eat lunch together. Go, Rufus.
* Mama Bear needs to effectively manage her own health. I was up too late, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t eat breakfast, and didn’t spot the drop before it reached freak-out level. Will do much better next time.
* A low can blow your entire day. I had plans for today. Really. Now, not only will I not accomplish those plans, but I can’t even remember what they were. I’m fully focused on getting back into “normal function”…both me and T-Bear, not to mention everyone else in the family
* Guilt sucks. I’m in charge of T-Bear’s care and feeding, and I screwed up. And, he paid for it. Shit. Will do much better next time.

The Silver Lining:
We survived our first freak-out drop, and T-Bear seems to be fine. Lows are my biggest concern for T-Bear, and we made it through the first one. High five.


  1. High five. You are doing good. Breathe in....exhale....relax. Guilt is a wasted emotion - you are doing fine.

  2. High five indeed! It was bound to come along at some point, and now you've been there and done that. You'll both be better prepared the next time. Learning to recognize the signs is a valuable lesson! You handled things beautifully. :)

  3. A scary, but important learning process. Take it one day at a time, maybe even one minute at a time.

    Can I make two small observations? The first is that NOTHING is lost by taking the summer off from school. Seriously. The kids are all so young and you have a full plate. They learn eighty million things a day as it is. Just a thought.

    The other is, the more I've been thinking about it, I don't think anyone would mind if you wanted to call off the sleep-over part of the party Sat. I have half a mind to just tell Robotson no anyway because I worry about you.

  4. Thanks, ladies, for your continued support. We had another "low" this morning after breakfast, but I caught it before the "crash" stage. We've adjusted his breakfast dose, and that should keep his number up.

    S, I don't know why I'm feeling the need to do school right now. Probably a lingering feeling that time is short. Or maybe something I can focus on besides eating, testing and dosing. I don't know. I'll think about it :)

    Also, the party and sleep-over thing is really going to be a good opportunity for some much-needed comraderie (sp?), and T-Bear would be seriously bummed if we called off the overnight part. Papa Bear will be here, and maybe one other adult, and we'll have an early tuck-in. I think it will be good. Thanks for the concern :)